Tuesday, 24 May 2016

Schhhhh. Where have all the boats gone?

When we untied on Friday and pulled away from the moorings near Wormleighton, nothing indicated then a lack of boat movement. We had moored along with several others at this popular spot. (One of whom ran his engine 2045-2130!) But setting off, initially we did pass a few boats, then virtually none!

Through Fenny Compton tunnel

Our destination was the ever popular Banbury. This really is a lovely canal and I would guess second only to the Llangollen in popularity. Meandering south and passing Fenny Compton it became noticeable how few boats were on the move. The only boat we actually met moving on the Claydon flight, was at the very first lock. So we dropped down to Cropredy without another boat in sight.

Cropredy empty!

Reaching Cropredy itself, the popular visitor moorings above the lock contained...not a single boat!!! By this time we thought that there must be a stoppage. And reaching Banbury itself, empty.
We moored up in our favoured spot, just before Tom Rolt bridge and next to the park. The forecast was not good for Saturday, so we sat tight and did some shopping .

On Sunday, we met Jane & Paul and went to the excellent Coach and Horses for a late afternoon meal. As usual, it was superb and the service was second to none. Well worth a visit. Thank you both for coming and bringing our mail.

After a final M&S shop, we moved on in fine but at times chilly weather. I really don't know how this happened, but we ended up at Aynho, mooring right outside the Great Western Arms. Another Hook Norton pub. It would be a shame to give it a miss, so after a nanosecond debate, that's where we went! Another excellent meal.

A queue at the lock (well nearly one was turning, so only one!)

We have cruised today through beautiful Oxfordshire countryside at a slow pace, with a few more boats around.  We have moored up for the day in rural isolation, with the River Cherwell beside us. It is a spot we have used and enjoyed before, marking it in the Nicholson's as you do.

A few more boats moving today, but still nowhere near the expected traffic. All the better for us! The mayflower is in full bloom now, joined by the Mayflies, rising in the sun, from the Cherwell.  Perfick.

Never seen so many Mayflies

 Close up

Our neighbours this evening
 (and not a Hook Norton pub in sight!)

Miles 30
Locks 22

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